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ambition

[am-bish-uh n] /æmˈbɪʃ ən/
noun
1.
an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment:
Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by his colleagues.
2.
the object, state, or result desired or sought after:
The crown was his ambition.
3.
desire for work or activity; energy:
I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
verb (used with object)
4.
to seek after earnestly; aspire to.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English ambicio(u)n (< Middle French) < Latin ambitiōn- (stem of ambitiō), equivalent to amb- ambi- + -i- go + -t- past participle suffix + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
ambitionless, adjective
ambitionlessly, adverb
preambition, noun
superambition, noun
Synonyms
1. aspiration, yearning, longing. 2. goal, aim. 3. drive, force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ambitions
  • The joke is on us and our shaky human ambitions, of course, and not the dogs.
  • The book grew less out of the literary ambitions of its author than out of her marvelous skills as a raconteur.
  • But his ambitions could hardly be realized by a nation at war with itself.
  • Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.
  • She will give play to her tastes, her talents and her ambitions.
  • As a concept, psychological capital reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions.
  • It goes without saying that there were great ambitions for this novel role.
  • Typically, humans fail to achieve some of their simplest ambitions.
  • Four decades later, he has scaled back his ambitions.
  • My data set is not particularly adequate to my ambitions, yet.
British Dictionary definitions for ambitions

ambition

/æmˈbɪʃən/
noun
1.
strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
2.
something so desired; goal; aim
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin ambitiō a going round (of candidates), a striving to please, from ambīre to go round; see ambit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ambitions

ambition

n.

mid-14c., from Middle French ambition or directly from Latin ambitionem (nominative ambitio) "a going around," especially to solicit votes, hence "a striving for favor, courting, flattery; a desire for honor, thirst for popularity," noun of action from past participle stem of ambire "to go around" (see ambient).

Rarely used in the literal sense in English, where it carries the secondary Latin sense of "eager or inordinate desire of honor or preferment." In early use always pejorative, of inordinate or overreaching desire; ambition was grouped with pride and vainglory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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